Re: VDQ M$

From: Beartooth Staffwright <>
Date: Sun Jun 11 2006 - 15:42:47 CEST

On Sun, 11 Jun 2006, Alan Horkan wrote:

> What does that subject line mean?

         Very Dumb Question : Micro$oft -- I forgot the colon.

> On Wed, 7 Jun 2006, Beartooth wrote:
>> In the course of discussion with an unenlightened good friend,
>> I'm looking to refute the contention that linux can never hope
>> to amount to anything because of M$ market domination
>> particularly with office apps; he says you have to be able to
>> copy & past between Excel and Word, etc.
> Microsoft have a stranglehold on the market by virtue of being
> installed by default. The cost of Microsoft included in the
> price or paid by someone else or not paid at all.
> I'm convinced if Wordpad had spellchecking many users would not
> bother with Microsoft Word. Notice how Microsoft includes a
> spellchecker in outlook express but doesn't bother to hook it
> up to wordpad.

         I probably would, on the rare occasions when I boot one
machine to XP, if I had reason to process any words; but I use
that one only for GPS-compatible topo maps. Ever since OE
appointed itself net nanny on W98 of evil memory, and I had to
get a high school student to disable it, I've treated it like a
scorpion indoors.

> There will always be users who claim they need one more feature
> before they could possibly switch to a different application,
> some users do not want to be convinced.

         Yes, and therefore can't be, alas! Maybe, when he
discovers Word can't even be trusted to stay self-compatible,
he'll get angry enough to think again. I mean to plant that
thought, and then let the subject alone with him for a long time.

> Other users will be interested by things like Portable Abiword
> which allow them to bring their word processor with them on a
> portable hard drive.

         Now that is news to me. Great idea! Is it extant? Can the
same drive be plugged into both linux and M$ machines?? If so, I
want a couple, and I want to get my wife one, and my friend one.
Do I download it onto that drive (I'll have to get one, but I've
been wanting an excuse) with one of my machines, or what? And
will it be fairly simple to copy my wife's draft whodunnit from
her machine onto it?

         She makes frequent trips down to the Western foothills of
the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee, where her mother
lives; and the only computers available are M$ machines in the
public library ...

>> I know Abiword can do a lot of things I've never even needed
>> to know about -- like what a spreadsheet is, or a power point,
>> let alone a slide show (if there's now a computer thing called
>> that).
> Not sure what you meant there but Powerpoint is a program for
> creating slideshows.

         Aha! Thanks. All I knew were two things: it was a common
buzzword, and it referred to some form of presentation I've never
wanted nor needed to do, and never will now. (I used to use an
overhead projector in many of my courses, but only because it was
quicker, easier, and more legible than writing on the
blackboard. No fancy diagrams nor pix; philology doesn't lend
itself to those.)

>> ... He might be interested in trying linux if I can find
>> knowledgeable assurance that he can do what he must with it.

         Well, I thought he would ... <sigh>

> I enjoy using VMWare player to try out different distributions.
> Knoppix is also a good non invasive way to get started, and the
> DVD version probably includes more software than you could ever
> get around to using. If you are willing to get Wine setup
> properly it will give your friend a way to run his old windows
> applications if he really needs to.

         I gave him a CD with the then-current version of Knoppix
on it two or three years ago; I've seen no indication he's ever
even tried it. <sigh>

         As for me, I run CXO Pro on occasion -- it will launch
and run my proprietary topo map software, but not yet make a
reliable connection to my GPSs.

         But to run VMware, Wine, or CXO you have to have a
machine with *ix installed, don't you? There doesn't seem to be
much point in this case.

>> Can anyone help?
> I think getting users to try out various Free Software like the
> applications found on theOpenCD are another good way to get
> started without rushing to get rid of windows.

         Well, he's due to retire in a few years; maybe then. I
might come up with a lightly-used machine to give him as a
retirement present -- with some *very* user-friendly RedHat
clone (only) installed on it, along with an emulator and a
few of his M$ apps .....

         Btw, having spent life running a few years ahead of the
Baby Boomers, I'm predicting increasing numbers who will get
interested in linux, BSD, etc., once they retire and cease being
chained to the Gates of Hell -- as I did. It should start quietly
any time now -- or may be already under weigh ...

Beartooth Staffwright,
Wordcrafty Squirreler
Venato ergo sum.
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Received on Sun Jun 11 15:51:12 2006

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